tv Book TV After Words CSPAN September 22, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
after you decided in late 2011 that he wanted to get a gun and the district of columbia where the handguns had been forbidden until the supreme court decided in the district of columbia versus heller case and 2008 that a handgun ban was unconstitutional and. according to justice antonin scalia's opinion, quote, surely elevates about all wall of lighting responsible citizens to use arms in defense of home. you think it would have been straightforward in 2011 for you to describe by a gun but it wasn't. tell us why you wanted one and what happened when you took the
first steps towards getting a gun. >> guest: this year as the gun control laws that in b.c. had spread to the country it was a horrific tragedy who in the newtown mayor bloomberg pushed these walls and the country and i had just gotten a gun in d.c. myself and had a gun control act so while it took me four months and $435 of government fees to get a gun that i still can't believe was in my home and in other places you just walk in and do an fbi check and walkout. so we have gone finalizing in d.c. rape and assault of 50%, last year assault and robbery of a gun were up 20%. so all of these gun crimes are going and people like me to are law abiding are having trouble getting it done so i wrote this book because they are being spread around the country and
it's not going to do anything to reduce crime or make americans safer from. >> host: describe how it in practice it was when you've tried to get a gun and give us a sense of what were the absurdities that he faced when you tried to actually do it. >> guest: i was so overwhelmed i said i here to get a gun because i had no idea pity i'd never owned a gun before. what inspired me was i was a victim of crime. i walked into a home invasion situation and thankfully was not hurt but there were a bunch of men outside and the police said there had likely been a drug dealer and they were trying to get some quick cash. but it woke me up to the fact that if i had surprised them enough or something had happened i would have defense in my home so that is what inspired me to do it. and i knew that obviously as a washington resident the supreme
court to overturn the the gun ban but i didn't realize what had happened since then. what happened is the city council had to technically abide by the killer decision technically but with the did is they put in place these an incredibly complicated registration laws so you have to actually register every gun yonah in chicago and to york in places like that. and they do it i believe to discourage people from getting, law-abiding people from getting guns. of course criminals just buy them off the street from each other. so that's what they are of two. i didn't realize any of this i just thought i would get a gun i said i'm here to get a gun and i got the 22 pages of paperwork and i was overwhelmed i sat down and i tried to figure out i had to do and was 17 steps, 17 things you had to go through.
i counted 17 and found more as i went along but some of the ridiculous once was a five hour class i had to take, for hours in a classroom just to be read all out loud. >> host: not to learn how to shoot a gun -- >> guest: one hour on the range which wasn't learning to shoot because that wasn't part of the requirement. it was showing you could hit the paper from 5 yards. frankly, you would have to be blind and deaf. it wasn't a very telling. i had to take a written test, i was fingerprinted, and ballistics test. it was one thing after another. anyone in the dmv in any city knows that in of itself. so, getting a gun transferred into the city was a hassle. everything. summit ended up as i said it took me four months. >> host: well, they did
challenge -- the defendant in the original case that went to the supreme court challenge to those rewritten rules that they were upheld in the federal court. what has happened since then? >> guest: it's working its way through the court. i was pleased to see last year if the city council moved to make the registration process a little less difficult and i count it now has 11 steps to be it's not 17. it's 11. obviously the leverage that i had in writing this and sort of schering them as the pending case because they don't want it to be knocked down again. and d.c. -- this is just a very d.c. centric issue, they want to have budget autonomy we from congress and they want to be a state and they know the republicans in congress are not going to allow those things while they have these unconstitutional firearms laws existing. so that's why the move in the past year in the series to
change. when >> host: and >> guest: that is a take away from. >> host:, the lobbies that you described and the absurdities they can result impact are very similar to those in effect in new york city and in chicago, not in very many other places. when you say that you saw president obama try to get similar laws passed around the country, or perhaps you meant in different states after newtown there were laws passed that tightened up the regulations on gun possession a lot of those are not very similar to those in the district. >> guest: the same laws are all over this place.
what we call rot which was the most shocking of all that was a recall next week and a lawsuit which a high-capacity magazine ban is in colorado. that for me off two weeks in washington, d.c. because my mistakes are of a gun i chose and it came standard with a 13 round magazine. that's just the way it goes. so the best prices or online but i couldn't buy it that way because it came with a 13 round magazine and the gun dealer in d.c. was illegal to even receive it that way because -- so i had to find a dealer who would be willing to take a factory box, open it up and -- by laconic and round magazine and 13 round magazine like this but the 13th round one is a piece of plastic here and it stops. so this is what is going to be going on in colorado and this also happened this year in connecticut. and then obviously we are sitting here and new york city, the first one out of the gate was governor cuomo who pushed this through which supposedly by
mayor bloomberg this ridiculous law saying the maximum capacity magazine in new york state could be seven. no one can find out if any guns were made with seven round magazines and they aren't. so i think it is a 1911 pencil and a couple small towns. so then because of that they had to do a whole new fix in april to change that, and now they are saying -- which i think this is the most ridiculous of all -- you can only load seven rounds. can you imagine the criminals being liked you got six, stop they only said seven. it's not going to do anything. >> host: you hit the nail on the head with the problem so many people have with a gun control is that so many gun control emily laws which may be well-intentioned, seem to be based on the idea that the best way to reduce murders, assaults, armed robberies and other crimes involving guns is to make it as difficult as possible for everybody including the law abiding citizens to own or use a
gun. new york city has the same idea. you've already criticized mayor bloomberg who pushes that constantly and is now going to do it -- >> guest: nationally, right. >> host: -- across the country. would you agree though that -- first of all, the second amendment protect a constitutional right. it's recognized a common law right that everybody had in the colony is right up to the revolution and it aimed to protect that. and people who see that guns can be dangerous or a menace to public safety and have to recognize that people who take that right seriously the serve to be taken seriously. i mean, very often it's kind of this vast wealth is a relic. i'm sure we agree on that. would you also agree that the gun control laws that aim to keep guns out of the hand is a devotee agree should not have
kernels become a drug addict, people like that, criminal records such rules are acceptable if we could ever agree. >> guest: that's the problem. we have had one after another on the gun-control such as the universal background checks, assault weapons ban, high-capacity magazine, registration, all of those crimes none of them reduce crime. in fact, crime has decreased. the on crime has reduced since 1991. the past 20 years is down 40%. gun murders are down. all crime is down but if we are going to talk about firearms it is completely down. however we have more guns in this country than in history there's 300 million in this country. but a gun and especially the past year firearm sales are going like this and don mcerlane
is i can't do this very well. but you know what i'm trying to do. succumb to the crime has gone down while gun ownership is going up so if we want to reduce and it's about ten or 11,000 people were killed each year about a quarter of those are felons and criminals, not much we can do in that case. >> host: they kill themselves in suicide. >> guest: that is reason, just to figure out that situation that we are talking about people who were murdered who are not criminals themselves and act, we want to work on that issue. it is decreasing. but there are so many things that can be done that are already in existence that obviously, like you said, the gun control act of 1963 says if you are a felon you can't have a gun if you are mentally ill you can't have a gun. if you're a drug user, domestic abuse are designed to discharge the military, illegal alien, any
of those categories it is illegal for them to have guns. >> host: that was 68. >> guest: 68. thank you. you are more of a history buff and i am. i appreciate that. so we all agree with -- i mean does anybody want a criminal or drug addict to have a gun? that is the whole point. we all want to be safe. >> host: how do we make laws that do that but don't penalize. >> guest: but we have a law that does that that is effective and enforcing it. the biggest issue that needs to be done is getting the mental health records into the system, and that is the fbi background check system when you go to buy a gun they do a check and see if you are in the prohibited categories. >> guest: the national background check system that applies to the sales of guns buy federally licensed dealers and gun shops with, but not to the private sales which might be ten, 15, 20 or even 40% to be
the estimates range broadly. >> guest: obama said 40 because that number is convenient but one of the things in my book is a falsehood because it is taken from as you said a study from 1997. so what do we really know. but of that, 28% from our friends and family. so, i am not going to give my begun to my uncle that is abusing his wife. friends and family know each other. this has been happening for the course of history to get >> host: but suppose you are a criminal. >> guest: that's what they do. it's about 40% get them from your friends and family. but they are probably criminals as well. they know who they are. >> host: and they are not going to be deterred by a law in your view. >> guest: or they wouldn't be criminals. they don't care. like i am the one going to the dmv to get my gun. >> host: how about the people
that get the straw buyers, girlfriends or -- >> guest: that is a tough one. the >> guest: they then give them to them illegally. >> guest: and that is very uncommon. it was about 47%. that is a huge number. yy wim >> guest: basically you send your girlfriend and she doesn't have a felony record and she buys the gun -- the key to that one of the solutions we can focus on is already involved. it is the crime in going through the check and failing it is lobbying. so when that girlfriend goes in and says i'm buying this done and she is writing out that form, that is a perjury charge. so the only way to stop these is for the enforcement of the perjury charge and the problem with this administration is they don't see that as a priority. eric attorney general eric
holder, he was in a meeting at the white house they had one meeting where the had the gun groups when they were developing their agenda and the had known each other for years, by dan and baker and he said the vice president, vice president with all due respect, prosecutions are down in your administration of these perjury charges of these failed checks. you've got to go after this. this is how we get these guys off the street and stopped them. the vice president said to baker we don't have time to go after these petty charges. so that disconnect is such a problem because in order to stop people from doing the straw purchases, they're has to be a deterrent. if your girlfriend is being -- would happen to have a process because the fbi does 81 negative denial, the girlfriend thinks she might actually go to jail for five years over this they might stop her and second, you also get people like that off the streets when you go after them. these are criminals already. we know that.
the only way to stop them is to know there is a deterrent. >> host: i think a lot of people on the gun-control side of the date would agree with you on that. after newtown, the president of course reacted as many people did in the country to that horrific slaughter of innocent children or proposing a number of measures including administrative measures that he can take without congressional action. but he asked for -- and congress eventually consider on april 17th, the senate considered a bunch of different proposals and amendments to an undermining gun-control law and they all failed. one of them was of course the ban that dianne feinstein had proposed on semi-automatic so-called assault rifles like the one that adam lansa in
newtown used. there are other bipartisan measures that senators mengin and to me to the dhaka -- manchin and toomey would make universal the crowd checks a requirement and another was the proposal to criminalize the strong purchasing and make it punishable by 15 years in prison. another one was the law against gun trafficking, bringing the guns across state lines and criminals bringing them across. and that was also punishable -- >> guest: these are all ready against all. >> host: yet all of these amendments failed to reach 60 votes which were required under the debate. why would people who actually support strengthening such laws oppose them when they came to the vote in the senate? >> guest: i explained in my book the two different trains going down the track in the
senate. you know, what happened in newtown was, you know, as you said, slaughter. i don't know what other words to use. one of the most terrific things that has happened in america. and it shattered everybody. but i find to be unfortunate is obama, president obama has had an anti-gun control agenda plan as dianne feinstein, before we elected. these legislations have been in the works and the announced them all within two days of these children being killed to get i mean come to me it is shameful that they used this opportunity to push a political agenda as opposed to saying this is a terrific, horrific thing that happened, but there is no law -- this keller, adam lansa, broke every law. he stole his mother's guns -- >> host: murdered her.
>> guest: murdered her, these children, went on a gun-free school zone. if there was a law, he broke it. so when obama pushed this because he really needed to get the momentum and he had michael bloomberg's mauney come he spent $12 million leading into that election on to the senators he thought he could switch on his direction. and i saw through those hearings on the hill not one person on that democratic side -- i shouldn't say because it wasn't split on party lines. the democrats were split -- no one said this law would have stopped newtown. it never came up because it wouldn't have. so they are exploiting the without saying that we could stop our children -- >> host: one way to look at that having a normal human response to what terrific tragedy is another way, isn't it? what if obama -- give him a little credit. he didn't just come out and try to pass a slew of gum emily laws
because it had been in his agenda -- >> guest: 48 hours. it was on sunday at the prayer service. on that sunday -- the shooting was on a friday. saturday morning bloomberg said we need to pass an agenda now. sunday morning at the prayer service obama said i am going to launch a task force for -- >> guest: >> host: which biden chaired. it was within a month. >> guest: he switched the politics and today's. kids are still in school. >> host: if you're going to strengthen legislation even some that's already on the books you have to do it for politics. how else will you get it passed through congress? >> guest: i found it shameful because not one thing that was proposed would have prevented those children's deaths. and i think that he agrees with that.
>> host: none of these measures could have stopped adam lansa. >> guest: there is confusion with the public and i try to clarify that in my book. the mass shootings get media coverage like nothing else. and i think people relate to them more than city crime for people in the urban crime is much more frequent. >> guest: the way the politicians go after these crimes and the media as well the public has a misconception that mass shootings are increasing and their research did a study this spring that looked at past ten years and said they are exactly the same. of some or her graphically more but it's about 18 people a year. one of the things that's important for people to know -- because a lot of my girlfriends
come to know i'm an expert on this issue and they're terrified to send their kids to school and that goes back to what you're saying about the president. i would have loved the president to -- instead of making it worse and exaggerating and making people more scared, say to the country this is the one of the. speaking to the country your children are safe. you are not in more danger. monfort of the schools have on the guards already so we know those schools have a deterrent. and mass shootings are not getting worse. you can still go to the movie theaters, you know -- we can talk about things we couldn't agree on to at least help make these things less frequent. one of them is the sixth two of these things actually came out
and supported after the president made his proposals public. one is armed guards in school and a lot of people said that's ridiculous to think turning the schools into the repository is fer tonnes how is that going to keep people safe? and get as you just said one third of all schools across the country have done -- >> guest: and schools that are more urban than 60%. they made that comment and the people were outraged by it. we're mostly the liberal media -- >> host: we have to do something in the way that we detect and we treat mental illness like the kind that was clearly behind adam lanza's actions in newtown and that was part of the universal background check proposal that manchin and toomey proposed. they strengthened the states to
choose information and get the treatment of the mentally ill people and to make it available, such people available to the fbi for the national check system. yet that field. >> host: >> guest: as the republican and the chairman, the ranking class on the senate judiciary committee that is when the public believed republicans stood behind and a bunch of democrats because it didn't have this universal dhaka and check. the problem with this -- i say in the but the universal background check is the assault weapons ban of the year. the assault weapons ban was created by an antigun activist deliberately and we have his own words in saying people will mistakenly think that when we have our assault weapon that there are automatic weapons manning a the kind you take into the war. machine guns. these are what he said. they will think it's machine guns. the public will be confused and they will think that they are
out lolling machine guns but also wrongfully think that they are on the streets. all this year and repeatedly you have to get weapons of war off the streets, get machine guns off the street. he actually said at one point the poor children of newtown were killed by some automatics, i mean fully automatic. he corrected himself to mislead. part of why i am writing this book is to get the facts out there machine guns are true automatic guns which as you pull the trigger and as many bullets come out until you stop or at war. they are in afghanistan. our military and some of our police have them. for civilians they have been highly regulated since 1934. they are not used in crime because they are in rare they haven't been manufactured and are very expensive. half a million in hands and are never used. >> host: you support that
>> guest: obviously there are limits. we don't want felons -- frankly i don't want a criminal having a full fully automatic weapon. we don't want adam lanza having an automatic weapon. there's a $200 fee for the check and there's a lot to go through. >> guest: that control has been effected in keeping those kind of weapons out of the hands of everybody. it was originally aimed at the criminals back in the days of prohibition >> guest: i was that the atf about a month ago. they let us shoot all of the band guns. so much fun. >> host: it is fun. i have a semi-automatic version of the ak-47, which i heard a lot coming the other way when i was in the war in vietnam. >> guest: right.
for me that is one of them we shot. they wouldn't let us should automatic but i was like when the world are the walking are found in the world with these things? they are so heavy. one of the things and i'm like this thing ways to ten times and it's this big and that is another misconception people face because obama is saying weapons of war on the street. no one is walking down the street with a rifle. >> host: he did say at one point these are not a problem. the problem as criminals using cheap handguns. >> guest: he said that in a debate last year -- okay so now we are going to go after -- >> host: it's true. >> guest: is it the price point? >> host: he said they were cheap but he wasn't trying to get the price raised. they were not semi-automatic rifles -- >> guest: but he isn't going to propose any kind of, thankfully, yet to propose any regulating. but in 1996 when he was running for the illinois state senate, he wrote in his questionnaire on a variety of issues it said to
use for the banning of handguns and he said yes. >> host: that's back before he ever became a national figure. >> guest: when he had a great friend -- >> host: in the first term what could he do for the gun control? >> guest: nothing because he was running for reelection. >> host: do you give him any credit at all for responding the way normal human being blood? >> guest: barack obama? note. that man was born political and he has a political agenda. look what happened to clinton. clinton pushed through the 1994 crime bill, assault weapons crime than, whatever you want to college. he lost the house and the fm programming ever since. 40% of this country -- 47% as a gun in their home. the country believes in the second amendment right to keep and bear arms. politicians know they can't win a national election bashing guns. >> host: we will take a short break and be back in a few minutes.
>> host: wayne lapierre who was the executive, is the executive vice president of the nra testified before the house judiciary subcommittee in 1999 for closing the loopholes that allow private non-sales not to go through the national check system. he said back then we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. no loopholes anywhere for anyone. what do you suppose happened to change his mind and why would you argue now that it is a bad idea to have the universal background checks even for private sales? >> guest: i don't speak for wayne lapierre.
but i will say why i think bdy manchin and toomey, which we were talking about earlier, amendment couldn't get the votes in the senate is because first of all, you know well the source of guns for criminals is not through private exchanges generally. this is -- you know, they are getting them off the street on these straw purchases. what it a fact is the law abiding. they use the gun show the loophole all the time. and they've interviewed the department of justice interviewed regularly and poll the people in jail and i guess they tell the truth where they get their guns and 1% say it's the gun show. >> host: calling it a gun show loophole is a misnomer i agree because at gun shows there are a lot of licensed dealers. >> guest: i talked to the head of the gun show association and because atf is even more regulating than normal obviously the last few years it is up to about 90% at gun shows pity and
i think the gun show loophole is another phrase that was invented to confuse the public and especially in places they really that they are not used like in the northeast and places like that and in places like virginia or the have done shows all the time people go and now it's not a lot of criminals running around shooting each other. but to someone who just doesn't know the issue and this may be a suburban mom and doesn't familiar it does sound a little scary but it's not a source of criminal guns. so, the reason that we couldn't get 60 votes in the senate is because the grassley cruz alternative, like we said strengthened the straw purchasers, get the mental health records in and all these kind of things, then the prosecution of the the denials. those things people agree on where manchin and toomey were saying we live next door to each other but we are going to have to drive all the way down the street, find a gun dealer to do an fbi check, and frankly, you
know -- i put this document in my book there was a memo was written at the justice department -- i asked the department repeatedly who they wrote this for what they will not say. the nra got a copy of it and in that it said it is a background check, universal background check which is their new ravenel lot term and will not do anything to reduce crime unless we have a registration of all of the guns in america and the public overwhelmingly opposes the registration. >> host: i think you overstate that. i was drawn to it and i think it's a good thing that you did publish it in the book so people can see what it says. it was analyzing what universal checks could do and it says they are insufficient for ensuring firearm owners remain eligible. you know, you can legally own a gun but then go and commit a bank robbery or something and become ineligible if you are convicted of crime and there isn't a good mechanism for checking back on people like
that. and it does say that most states do not have the registry of the firearm ownerships consequently, it's hard to go back and find out if you are getting the right people if you are doing universal back from the czechs and barring the right people from guns but it doesn't anywhere say that we need a federal system or registration. >> guest: go down to the bottom. gun registration continues tracks putative universal checks are insufficient. recovering tonnes -- >> host: the next to last paragraph for the last -- >> guest: recovering funds from those that become and of which was likely an effective. there is evidence from 3-cd and i will get to that. the challenges of implementing -- more broadly of the ownership currently the background checks are destroyed in 24 hours and that is by law in congress. some maintain the ownership. gun registration aims to increase owner responsibilities
by connecting an owner with the gun that is a national registry. number two, improve law enforcement of devotee to retrieve guns from voters with prohibited possession of firearms. that's confiscating them. >> host: that doesn't say they want the gun regulation. >> guest: yes that is exactly what it says. gun registration also allows for the monitoring of multiple gun purchases in a short period of time. >> host: that's what it does. >> guest: but these are the recommendations. the firearm violence prevention strategy by the deputy director of the justice department. i mean, he had a twitter summary on these things. there is a summary on universal back rent checks on the ability to reduce strong purchasing or requiring gun registration in an easy done transfer process. >> host: in the states where they have it. >> guest: we can disagree on that. >> host: i think you go to far. >> guest: you do?
i don't. i look back at obama's career and see him saying i want to ban all handguns. and not just the fax but when he's running for the senate he expanded i would like to ban handguns. so there is a political history here of this and when he got into this and that he was one of only 40 members have voted for the regulating of ammunition. >> host: that is it true. but he did two things. number one, signed the law that lets you take a gun if you alone one in a container aboard an amtrak train, and number two, take the gun into an international park. that's all he did. >> guest: because he wanted to get reelected and no one has ever gotten really liked it does run on gun control or elective i should say. >> host: people who support gun rights -- and by one of them. i believe it is a constitutional right, and i wish people who support gun control like michael
bloomberg would take that more seriously than they do. but you will never find common ground. there must be things we can improve on like mental health records and making sure that the states provide the names of people who shouldn't be able to buy guns from dealers get into that federal fbi registry will never be able to make progress on that and make things like newtown if not impossible at least may be less likely to happen unless we stop calling each other names and throwing slogans at each other and i think that is all they did in the senate april 17th. it would surprise me to learn anybody besides manchin and toomey and schumer had actually read any of the legislation. >> guest: i don't think that schumer did because he threw his name on a last minute. >> host: he was working on a proposal -- >> guest: the senate actually passed the senator schumer won and they knew that. that is how rushed this was. they took the bill on the floor and made people vote on it
saying we are going to change it later in the committee and then re-ride is one that might. >> host: the whole politics has become really slogan and not an attempt to wrestle with the serious issues at hand. isn't it legitimate to want to protect the right of the public to live in safety with the 300 million guns we have around the country? i mean, every gun owner would agree on that. shouldn't there be a way that we can talk to each other about these things rationally and try to find common ground rather than saying you are proposing gun-control you want to take my guns away? i'm not going to talk with you. >> guest: but it's only coming from one direction. it's coming from the obama bloomberg side. i think you and i would agree there are enough laws on the books to be enforcing the speed is the issue. we are not enforcing them
correctly. not one person i've heard this year said here is a new law that will actually make the world safer and the country and the use a4a. there are so many laws already. and they are not being enforced, people aren't being prosecuted. but i also think the push for gun control has very little to do with public safety because the gun crime as we have discussed earlier is dramatically down. it's gone down every year. it went down this year and next year. it's going down. so things are working. but why this became the number one issue of the obama administration this year, why this became the number one issue of bloomberg and of the senate and all of march and april it's what they talked about where people are safer now more than ever and its not an epidemic. >> host: people fall back on their core beliefs. a bloomberg for instance right now is arguing that the stop and frisk practice at the new york police department -- which you
keep saying is responsible for that decline. murder is only a quarter of what they were 20 years ago in new york city. >> guest: and of those things do work and i agree. stop and frisk you see someone about to commit a crime find out. >> host: but it's responsible for all that because it also went down about the same proportion even in colombia. >> guest: they are not going -- >> host: they are going way down from where they were -- >> guest: yes but -- >> host: >> guest: there are several factors. actually there are about 12. but the major ones are mandatory sentencing for the gun crimes, the strong the prosecution's, more policing on the street. those are the things that really get them off the street. >> host: and programs like the one that you mentioned in the book cease-fire programs, which they have i believe in even washington and in chicago and
other places. this is where a police and other people work with people who have been members of criminal gangs, who have gone straight or served terms in prison and come back to young people that belong to gangs about how destructive, self-destructive it is to rely on guns for pride and security and so on. >> guest: the issue is so complicated it's not going to get a boil down to one or two simple fixes. they are not retreating from the schools in the city. most of these are inner-city crime is not credit from schools. plus of the better things. it's a lot at play. >> host: and most of the victims are black and hispanic people in poor neighborhoods. >> guest: absolutely. and that's not what you hear president obama talking about and may your blender spent tens of millions of dollars this year
and you are not seeing him representing the kids on the street, the ones that are in the gangs. >> host: and i think his policies are may be well-intentioned, it's been badly carried out by an experienced police officers who offend people more than they stop and frisk and explain we are trying to protect you. >> guest: stop and frisk is a tough issue because you have to guard between the right of people keeping their arms and the amendment of search and seizure versus you see a bad guy that looks like he has a gun so let's make sure he doesn't have begun. and things like that do help reduce crimes in cities but, you know, as far as overall where you have the crime going down, the gun crime dramatically going down and decreasing, why has this become such a national agenda? the president talked about in just three days ago passed more executive action on completely pointless importing historic guns were 50-years-old and
things like this. it's just become such a political issue yet when the justice department issues a study in may saying crime is down so much non-fatal shootings around 70% in 20 years, the white house is silent. bloomberg is silent. in fact i call the office and i said are you going to release anything and talk about this? they said they are using other weapons. and things are much better now in the country. >> host: people also talked out of both sides of their mouths on this issue. the nra. you don't speak to the nra and i'm not trying to force you to but they are constantly telling members like me that they need more money to fight off what would keep me from buying handguns and people like me from buying guns and you need a gun because the police can't always be there and crime is still a problem in our big city well, it
is, but as you point out it is half or a quarter of the problem it was 20 years ago. so, why keep spreading fear mongering basically. it's not just guns. we know people say the nra is related selling guns. >> guest: the person that is selling the most guns in the history is president obama. >> host: you point that out in the book. >> guest: the public companies and private companies -- freedom group is one of the biggest. sales are up 56% last year. during obama's term and he's in the companies, everyone -- the biggest number of checks this since obama announced his agenda because here is what happens. you start to say to people -- people what their ar-15. it's the most popular rifle in america and there's 5 million of them are around. in all of the 11,000 or so people murdered by firearm there
are about 300 murdered by rifle of any kind whether it is a pistol grip or cross back it is handguns. get obama from the number one has this tragedy we need assault weapons band and then pushed through and dianne feinstein's phill couldn't get 40 votes because everyone knows this has absolutely nothing to do with crime. >> host: i think if they hadn't pushed for the ban on the semi-automatic rifles some of these other measures might actually have passed. >> guest: i think they needed to divide them up by putting them together it became bipartisan but if you had picked out pieces -- and the problem is for everyone i talked to finale with the white house legislative affairs offices and cementer read's office, president obama was pushing so hard to get a vote on this and actually from what i understand he believes he can get to 60 and harry reid never believed he could. >> host: harry reid didn't want the ban to be proposed in the first place. but just to tease you a little about your subtitle obama wants to take your drums.
he wants to take hours. you say even the ban that's basically dianne feinstein's proposal didn't involve seizing automatic rifles. it required a semi-automatic rifles and required registering them and increased the fees that it would take to do that. but there was never any mention that it made sales difficult. but the seizure i didn't see -- >> host: i would point out again it says registration, which is what they would get, the registration would help the law enforcement take the guns -- >> host: the federal legislation specifically it is forbidden by law. >> host: >> guest: what they are recommending on the agenda, the gun control agenda it is forbidden as it should be. >> host: as the amendment that
manchin and toomey and schumer -- >> guest: he has the irs targeting the conservative groups and the nsa spa and all of us and we know that now. going through the e-mails and phone records. no one anymore believes the federal government and they say we are not keeping records of you. no one. if you do we are going to wake you up here. i mean, why e-mails thou largest hi nsa because -- [laughter] we are living in a year especially this year when all the scandals come out and have these outrageously in face of federal government for the gun is registered because washington, d.c. housing velocity know about my gun. i have zero doubt that they what like to go back to the ban. if they go back to the band my gun will not be grandfathered and they want to get it back. >> host: i wonder why they
would see any use. one of the fascinating figures in your book -- and i forgot the exact number now is how few people have gone through the process you did and i actually bought and registered guns and the district since -- >> guest: it's about 1500 a year. >> host: and no crime has been committed with a gun that was legally registered. they are all been committed by the unregistered illegals. >> guest: the funds aren't going to go through the steps and take the five hour class that was eliminated last year. can you imagine a criminal being like i'm sorry can i go to the police station i need to take my 20-point question test before i get my gun? it's ridiculous. the only people living are the most law-abiding -- most people in d.c. because they tell me normal law-abiding people have guns don't register them because they don't want the government to know about them and they don't want to go through the hassle. so it's such -- the whole registration, mandatory
registration process first of all most of the country opposes it. jerry on a popular concept because nobody trusts the federal government. but even in the states that have them, guns aren't being registered. it's the stupidest thing. then they holistic test of mind which technically of my gun is stolen they can track it back to me. how is that going to solve a crime? it was stolen. i went for 17 steps and you have my finger print twice and a background check. you can be pretty sure you don't need my ballistics to track the crime down. >> host: and these draconian regulations also claimed innocent victims. you described several of them very effectively in your book. a couple of those stories that you described in your book or people that have a file with the gun law and had no idea they were violating any law adel. >> guest: it's a really hard story to hear. three of the recent veterans the serve in iraq and afghanistan high-profile in my book.
d.c. gun the laws don't exist anywhere else. not all of them -- i get very defensive over d.c. having the worst gone laws and i'm very competitive over this one. we don't have the right to bear arms to reply trump among but because chicago people would be like we have it bad and we don't have the right at all. i win again. where is the gun laws? i'm defensive on the fact we have the worst point his most of the country you don't have crazy things like -- talking about augustine. he served two tours in afghanistan he's back in kosovo. a dedicated wonderful what soldiers. he was transporting to d.c.. they were locked and loaded in his trunk and the been injured in afghanistan.
he went back to pick them up and was driving them back to the home in north carolina. he stopped at walter reed for a check of his injuries and in doing so got lost and turned around. it's a complicated story but got turned around and the d.c. police claimed that by stopping for medical treatment it was no longer legally transport and giving it just that one stop. it was long a leading out of the transport with laws on guns. to clarify if you're gonna isn't loaded and locked in the trunk you can drive state to state and stop for gas and stopped to eat and that's fine. >> host: for the d.c. police. >> guest: if he had gone to trial and would have won. but this man was serving the country bravely, in jail he had to get a lawyer which is horrific he was handcuffed and
had to get a lawyer and go through and eventually he took a plea deal where he was suspended and after a year who dropped the charges. active duty would. we send him to afghanistan with guns. the first lieutenant still serving and they see the guns and wouldn't give them back for two years. i wrote a story repeatedly and senator gramm read my story and called his constituent in north carolina like to give him back his guns today after two years he got the guns back. i will tell you another story briefly. the sergeant who didn't register because which is normal in the rest of american you don't and he is saying i can't believe i could just walk up to the police station and they wouldn't just arrest me. i know a lot of people are worried about that. his guns were unloaded in his
house and i go through the complicated story of how the police team beryl into his house and seems to them. they put him in jail for two weeks. for two weeks to date he served in iraq and he actually had ptsd symptoms from iraq and couldn't sleep. what are we doing? these are not dangerous people. we do give them handguns across the world to protect freedom. he was thrown in jail for possessing rounds of ammunition but no gun was. these are the laws. i will tell you why talk about the rank and file police and the union and the head of the union of the police in d.c. i talked to him frequently. he's in my book. they do not for any of this pitted they do not support these laws. and if you look nationally the police wanted to serve the 15,000 law enforcement. 85 to 95% of obama's gun control agenda or by the law enforcement. the reason? because they are doing things like wasting time on that the
and chasing down the sergeant when they could be going after the actual criminal who just love to the girl walking down the street with a gun. law enforcement opposes all these things. many times a obama press conferences with police standing by him they are not standing behind him because they support him. they are not these real guys on the street going the officer says to me do i want to chase you because you are 14 rounds instead they can round magazine fattah or do i want to go after the guy that shot someone on the corner? this is why the law enforcement is not supporting these measures. >> host: you describe in your book how you ran into justice scalia wrote the opinion that made handguns illegal finally in the district of columbia at the white house correspondents' dinner this last spring.
and you said something to him about how he hoped he would help you get the right eventually to bear arms as well as keep them in the district. tell us a little bit about what he said and what you think is going to happen in that regard. >> guest: my friend covered in court for fox news and she was talking to him and introduced me and i modified her for life. i'm sure she will never trust anyone again because i was a complete super fan. i was like thank you so much you gave me the right to get a gun. and he was like thinks crazy lady. [laughter] but because d.c. is the last place you do not have the right to bear arms and you can't take your gun out of your home. in july, illinois legislature finally passed the law because the court forced them to. the last state you couldn't do it. so i said are you going to bring up the carrying case in the new york term because look at this
court? it is 5-4. we still have the heller majority. but until you make a decision, places like d.c. aren't going to do this. and i also say -- i didn't say it then to him -- but all for this country all five of the states that have passed gun control this year are facing lawsuits. new york, connecticut, colorado and they are all going to get to the supreme court no doubt because limiting what you can carry hasn't been decided yet by the court. so those are two things that i am very hopeful what happens while the majority is a pro-gun majority. and i just ask justice scalia if he was taking care of himself, if he was exercising regularly, and then he said he was and he was laughing. then she pointed to his tuxedo pocket where he had a cigar and she was like what is this? she said only on special occasions. and i was like mr. justice, we need you healthy.
>> host: to get to the point where we can talk with each other across the divide that divides people that support gun rights and people that support gun-control come to get them to talk to each other about things we could agree on that might make it safer to have the things we have, it takes i think a recognition by each side that the other holds its view seriously. it isn't just in it for the politics or the political advantage. but when you react to newtown by saying there must be something we can do, pass a law of some kind. >> host: its -- >> guest: i agree on that. it's universal. i -- all we want to do is protect those children. we want to do something. that is human nature. it's like what can we do to stop this from happening and how can we protect our children? i was a sunday school teacher and this was first grade. so i know that age group. it is such a horror.
however, but as leader cannot be made on human emotion. it has to be made based on policy, evidence and facts. that's why these don't get very far in congress because once the emotions by down they are elected to i also think if we did this in a way that people like you and me and not politicians you could easily talk to each other. politicians are always going to stick to their guns, palm untended. >> host: let's hope that can happen someday. absolutely. thank you so much. >> guest: thank you. i enjoyed it. >> that was "after words," booktv signature program and which authors of the bleakest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with the material. "after words" ears every weekend on booktv on 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on
sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" on line. go to booktv.org and click on "after words" and the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. we wanted america to be better. we wanted america to live up to the declaration of independence, with up to our creed. make real our democracy. make it real. so when i got arrested the first time, i felt free. i felt liberated. and today more than ever before i feel free in the liberated. >> civil rights leader and congressman john lewis from last year's national book festival. he will be the next guest on in that october 6th and take calls and comments live for three hours. also scheduled, november 3rd biographer kitty kelly, and
january 5th, radio talk-show host mark speed and the book club continues this month with more next on book tv, shibley telhami met here on c-span washington journal to discuss his new book "the world through arab eyes." this is about 40 minutes. ..the situation in syria we turn to -- host: to continue our coverage of the situation in syria, we have shibley telhami, author of the book "the world through arab eyes." -- to start with your take on the agreement on syria's chemical weapons. you agree the